EULA – Joseph Steward Bentley, 92, died Jan. 6, 2012, at his home. Service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, at the Eula United Methodist Church with Bob Karlin officiating, assisted by Kerry Patton. Burial will follow in the Eula Cemetery under the direction of Bailey-Howard Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Joe was born Oct 23, 1919, to Steward and Bertha Reid Bentley in Loraine, Texas. He moved to Callahan County at an early age and attended school at Zion Hill and Deer Plains. He began working at a very young age by going with the family to Arizona and California to work in the fields during the Depression. A farmer by trade, he could do anything.
He was a member of the Eula UMC for 68 years and led singing for about 50 of those years. He taught Sunday School and was a youth leader. He volunteered as a church camp counselor for many years.
He was Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 256 for 28 years, making several trips to Canada with the boys, teaching them canoeing and innumerable life lessons. He worked as custodian at Eula Schools, touching many young lives.
He and his wife, Edna, were foster parents to more than a dozen children, one of whom is still part of the family and calls him “Grandpa.”
Joe was a charter member of the Eula Lions Club. He was an honorary FFA Chapter Farmer and was active in the Cancer Society for several years, serving as president for some of those years. He was also active in the Abilene Parkinson’s support group. He grew a huge garden annually and took produce to the Farmers Market, talking with everyone and spreading the love of Jesus.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; three wives, Elizabeth (1945), Clarine (1957) and Edna (2002); a son, Darrel; grandchildren, John, David and Cheryl Slatton and Lyssa Knox; great-granddaughter, Kelly Tiner; and a brother, James Bentley.
He is survived by nine children, Dorothy Polca of Johnstown, Penn., Billie Knox of Kansas City, Mo., JoAnn Curnutt and Boyd of Port Lavaca, Jobeth Corwin and Tommy of Big Spring, Robbye Benfer and Larry of Abilene, Eileen Miller and Carrol of Eula, Joe Roy Bentley and Norma of Salado, Evelyn Pugh of Buda, and Jerry Bentley and Carol of Eula; and also his foster son, John of Mannheim, Germany; 27 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Nell Madron of Fresno, Calif., Ferne Hutchins of Abilene, and Hamp Brown of Clyde; one brother, Armo Bentley of Glen Rose; and by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was small in stature but big in heart and will always be bigger than life to his children.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Eula United Methodist Church, 5810 FM 603, Clyde, Texas 79510; or to the American Cancer Society, 209 S. Danville, Ste B-107, Abilene, Texas.
Online condolences may be made at www.baileyhowardfuneralhome.com